Getting acquainted, Jamaica style. A visitor to Jamaica can experience that country's way of life firsthand through a unique program offered by the Jamaica Tourist Board. More than 600 ``Meet-the-People'' volunteers throughout the island greet visitors in a variety of ways. These can range from a visit to the host's home or place of employment, to an evening of entertainment, to a drive in the country with a Jamaican family. Volunteers include professional people, homemakers, musicians, dancers, and experts on sports. Those interested in the program can write the Jamaican Tourist Board Office, 21 Dominica Drive, New Kingston, Jamaica, in advance, or contact a Tourist Board office upon arriving in Jamaica. For details on the ``Meet-the-People'' program or general information, call the Jamaica Tourist Board office in New York, (212) 688-7650, or in other United States cities. Tax refunds in Britain. Visitors to Britain who claim refunds of the value-added tax (VAT) on things to be taken home often complain of difficulties. Now, over 2,500 retail outlets are participating in London Tax Free Shopping, a service that simplifies the process and issues checks in US dollars. When paying for goods, buyers will be given a sales voucher and a prepaid envelope and a form to record voucher numbers and the amount of VAT. On departure, vouchers and purchases have to be presented to customs, which will stamp vouchers. Then, visitors mail the vouchers in the envelopes provided. A free booklet, ``Welcome to London Tax Free Shopping,'' explains the services and lists shops. Write London Tax Free Shopping, 21-24 Cockspur St., London SW1Y 5BN, England.
Tours to Bali and Indonesia for seniors. Tours to the South Pacific are being offered by Aerotours International for senior citizens. The two-week tours include air transportation, accommodations, sightseeing, and airport transfers. Destinations to be visited include Jakarta, Jogjakarta, and Bali. Prices range from $1,499 to $1,799, and it's possible to extend the vacation in Bali or arrange a stopover in Honolulu. For more information, contact a travel agent or Aerotours International, PO Box 602, Lenox Hill Station, New York, NY 10021 or call 800-223-4555 outside New York and (212) 594-7575 in New York.
New guide for divers. Divers now have help in planning a trip to warmer waters from a colorful new book, ``Divers' TravelGuide to the Caribbean & the Bahamas: 1987 Tour.'' The book is a comprehensive guide to every island in the Caribbean, listing 650 dive operations in 50 destinations along with how to get there, where to stay and dine, some of the history of the island, and details of the underwater sites. The book sells for $19.95 (paperback) and may be purchased in bookstores or directly from the publisher: Divers' TravelGuide, 2269 Chestnut St. No. 321, San Francisco, CA 94123; or call (415) 563-7001.
Meet the artists in Taos. From Oct. 15 to Dec. 15, travelers to Taos, N.M., can take part in the Fall '87 ``Meet-the-Artist'' Series at the historic Taos Inn. On most Tuesday and Thursday evenings audiences can hear talks, watch slide shows, take studio tours, watch demonstrations or dancers, or listen to music or readings, as nationally known local artists perform and talk about the creative process. Another series will be sponsored in the spring from May 15 to June 21, 1988. For details contact Stacy Q. Rychener, 800-TAOS-INN or (505) 758-2233, Ext. 41.
Doing business in Korea. Americans seeking to do business outside the United States need to know that what may be considered acceptable behavior in America isn't always acceptable abroad. The June Korea Newsletter offers helpful hints for business visitors in Korea, compiled by Song-Hyon Jang, a Korean business consultant. Suggestions may apply to tourists as well. Some examples: Always have a formal introduction by an intermediary and carry calling cards; don't assume that your English is always understood; be polite, patient, and firm in presenting your position; don't apply Western logic, for Koreans are more concerned with genuine emotions than they are business tactics; be aware of what is going on in Korea - it is a rapidly changing society. For a copy of a current newsletter with more information about business or vacation travel, contact Korea National Tourism Corporation, 460 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022.
Ireland in the fall. A bargain one-week escorted tour within Ireland is offered during October and November by CIE Tours, which specializes in Ireland travel. The cost of $555 per person (a saving of $200) covers a trip beginning at Shannon, going to the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Cork, Blarney, Waterford, Kilkenny, and Dublin during October. Included are hotel fees, breakfast and dinner each day, sightseeing, theater tickets, and other entertainment. Air fare is separate. In November, the cost drops even more. For details, contact a travel agent of CIE Tours at 800-CIE-TOUR or 800-522-5258 in New York State. On the West Coast call 800-331-3824 (California only) or 800-423-8866.
Anthropology volunteers. The Foundation for Field Research, a nonprofit organization, needs volunteers to help with various anthropological projects. Instead of merely reading about an expedition to collect Western plant specimens, one can participate in botanical research while on a mule-pack trip. The trail passes by some of the most spectacular Indian rock art in North America. The project runs from Nov. 7 to Nov. 15, 1987. The tax-deductible contribution is $725. Among other volunteer projects, art enthusiasts are needed to record Indian rock art on the Gila River, in Arizona, Dec. 21-26. The contribution is $425. To obtain more information on these and other projects, write to the Foundation for Field Research, 787 South Grade Rd., Alpine, CA 92001, or call (619) 445-9264.
Discovering America. Travelers will find planning a trip is easier with the ``Discover America'' brochure, produced by the Travel Industry Association of America. It lists addresses and phone numbers for all 50 state tourism offices and for the District of Columbia and US territories. A state tourism office is equipped to provide more than enough information needed to plan a vacation. For a copy, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Discover America, c/o Travel Industry Association of America, Two Lafayette Center, 1133 21st St., NW, Washington, DC 20036.